Beauty queen mom commends Miss Universe pageant’s inclusivity
MANILA, Philippines — Beauty queen mom and reigning Mrs. Universe Philippines Arlene Cris Damot is all support to the inclusive measures being implemented by the Miss Universe Organization (MUO), including allowing mothers and married women to join the international pageant’s 2024 edition.
MUO’s recent move to allow mothers and married women to participate appeared to receive the same amount of resistance as lifting the age requirement, but Damot welcomed these development because women shouldn’t be boxed by “age, size, or height.”
“It’s actually a good thing, because whatever age, or whatever size, or whatever height you may have does not define you,” Damot said at the sidelines of her sendoff press conference last Sept. 21. “I’m happy that Miss Universe is opening up.”
The beauty titleholder and mother of two, however, was quick to clarify that she is not thinking of joining the 72-year-old international pageant even if the doors have now been opened to her and other women, regardless of their stature.
“I will still choose Mrs. Universe. I think we share the same values,” Damot said, explaining that the international pageant focuses on the concerns of married, widowed, or divorced women, the same demographics that the rebranded Miss Universe wants to attract.
Damot is one of the six Filipino participants in the 2023 Mrs. Universe pageant, happening in the Philippines for the first time. Unlike the Miss Universe pageant where four Filipino winners have been crowned, the country has not recorded a victory in the contest for married women.
“I really cannot promise. I’m no Pia [Wurtzbach, 2015 Miss Universe], I’m no Catriona [Gray, 2018 Miss Universe]. I’m Arlene. But I will do my best. And I believe that I am unique,” Damot declared. She will be competing with more than 100 international delegates at the 2023 Mrs. Universe coronation night on Oct. 9.
Mrs. Continental International
Meanwhile, another mother is aiming to raise the Philippine flag on the international pageant stage — Loue Manuel Bozhilov, who will compete in the 2023 Mrs. Continental International pageant in India in November.
“I hope to win the crown, to have an impact on more women, and inspire them to chase their dreams,” the Cebuana entrepreneur told INQUIRER.net in a media gathering on Sept. 18.
“I hope I could get connected to more people, to help in my advocacy for the children,” continued Bozhilov, who will try score the Philippines’ first victory in the 2023 Mrs. Continental International pageant’s coronation show in Mumbai on Nov. 21. EDV